China and US Balance of Power Held by the Rest of the World

Richard Hanania, president of the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology, said the U.S. cannot indefinitely maintain its global leadership role in the face of China’s growing power and influence. Nextbigfuture believes the US will co-lead the world throughout the 21st century. Richard notices that projection that China’s economy will be twice the size of the USA by 2050. Nextbigfuture has made these projections for twenty years and agrees with those economic projections. China with half of the per capita income of the US would get to an overall economy about twice the size of the USA. However, history says that just having a first-place world economy that is double the nearest competitor does not mean unchecked world power.

Hanania notices that China-watchers who thought China would either democratize or collapse were all wrong. Hanania is correct that many of the anti-China watchers predicted what they wanted to happen. Many wanted to see China collapse or wanted China to democratize. Nextbigfuture never thought China would democratize or collapse.

Let us look at the current situation and expected situation and the balance of power in the world.

We can look at history and see that having twice as much economy does not mean dominance and does not even mean winning a one on one war.

China had ten times the economy of Vietnam in 1979 and they fought a border war with a few hundred thousand troops. It went back and forth but China did not gain anything from its attack.

The economy of the British Empire was 166% of the size of the US Economy in 1890.

In 1950, the US Economy was almost three times the size of the combined economy of the Soviet Union.

China’s PPP (Purchasing Power Parity GDP) in 2026 is projected to be $38 trillion vs the US at $28 trillion. China would have about 24% of the world economy vs the US at 17.5%. Combined the US and China are less than half of the world’s economy. The rest of Asia is rising economically. China is slipping to 3-7% GDP growth. India, South Korea and ASEAN are keeping pace and often surpassing the growth of China. The rest of Asia will outgrow China over the rest of the century. This is especially the case as China is having demographic problems.

The US would tend to get the support of the EU, Japan, India, South Korea, ASEAN, Taiwan, Canada, Australia and other countries in a showdown against China. The EU would have a PPP GDP of about $20 trillion. India is projected to have a PPP GDP of $15 trillion in 2026.

The Asian countries like India, Japan, South Korea, and the ASEAN want the US to counterbalance China. Most of the EU is part of the NATO alliance. The population of the non-China Asian countries is about 3 billion. The EU and the UK have a population of about 650 million.

If China tries to bully its neighboring Asian countries that will push those Asian countries into a stronger counter alliance with themselves and the US.

China Will Be Better Able to Resist US Trade Wars After 2030

China with 30% of the world economy will be able to better resist US domination. After 2030, China’s consumer spending should exceed the US. This will mean trade wars will be more equal or in China’s favor. China will not be able to go crazy either because over 50% of the world economy will be the non-China and non-US parts.

Conflict Limitations and Key Technology

Nuclear weapons also limit the level of military adventurism that is possible.

SpaceX gives the US space dominance for the next forty years. The fully reusable Starship will mean a mach 15 to mach 20 vehicle that has 8000 miles of range and a 100 ton hypersonic bomb payload.

As Most of the World Catches up on Per Capita Income

China is catching up to developed country income levels aroudnd 2040-2060. The rest of Asia has either already done this before China like Japan, Taiwanm Singapore and South Korea. Other countries like ASEAN, India are only about 20-30 years behind China.

All countries in the world should be able to follow the formula to catch up and get to near to the per capita income of developed countries. In 2100, each countries GDP and share of the world economy will start approaching their share of world population. China’s population will be declining and might only be 1 billion out of 11 billion people. China would be at about 10% of the world economy.

Aging Adjustment

If aging reversal is mastered around 2030-2050, then world population in 2100 is likely about 15 billion. China, Europe, Japan and other aging populations will do better to have a higher share of world economy and world power. If aging reversal does not happen then more of the world power shifts to Africa and South Asia from 2050-2100.

SOURCES – Wikipedia, the Hill
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

111 thoughts on “China and US Balance of Power Held by the Rest of the World”

  1. Another of your argument on "China may be better in resisting trade war with US after 2030" is also full of holes. China trade with US is less than 20% of its total trade. It has more trade with Asean, and EU. China has over 50% to 60% of GDP coming from service sector and internal consumption. So US trade war against China has very little impacts as we can see now. You tend to overestimate US capability in against China. 🙁 🙁

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  2. You have wishful thinking. The only firm support US can get is Five Eyes, Japan (may be). EU has it own problem and wants to be independent from US. Half of South Korea want to have working relationship with North Korea. They want THAAD to be removed from the country. Taiwan is too small and its population is divided in leaning to US or not. None of the ASEAN countries like to take US's mid-range missiles against China. India is currently run by Modi government. But that may change if the opposition win the election. So your opportunism on US allies among those countries are unfounded. You should read more world news of different opinions.

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  3. Population trends are that important. People at different ages spend differently. Not that many retirees buying baby formula and not many Zoomers buying RVs.

    The EU is OLD and getting older. It's going to look like a retirement home.

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  4. Yes, right now it isn't economical. Hence it is the prospect of cheap geothermal that is worth anticipating in the future, not current geothermal.
    And while solar is looking great for countries with desirable climates, there is still the majority of industrialized countries that have horrible, cold, dark weather for several months per year.

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  5. So how do you envisage anyone or any group having control of China sufficiently to force the entire communist party (80 million people) to remain ignorant of Primal Science? I'll bet more than one of them has a notion that the guy over there is cwazy. Esp the big boss!

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  6. It is known from Physics that such structures as you describe need feedback loops for stability and formation. Other species are limited because the feedback is standard fitness/sex Darwin stuff. We, however, are locked in a 7 million year old predator/prey loop with our ritual system of child abuse and repression, it having sprung to *life* as we train the next generation how to continue the birth trauma in particular. This loop allows the feedback from the ritual to form the society, bringing in language and writing really speeds things up. The "genetic Pain" Harry and Charles are fighting over is an example. Big brain to handle the repressive load is an effect. Janov has the basics.

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  7. China's rapid economic growth of the past 30 years has been highly dependent on a large, young, and mobile population (that and state-sponsored intellectual theft). But fertility rates started crashing 30 years ago. The crisis isn't coming, only its effects are. The crisis has already happened. This is demographic destiny at this point. Each future generation will be 25 percent smaller than the one preceding it.
     
    They can't even open their borders and get large numbers of immigrants (no one but a North Korean would want to go to a place where minorities are being systematically eliminated).
     
    China has achieved in 50 years—increasing life expectancy from the 40s to over 70—what it took many European countries a century to accomplish. That sounds great and it is but, by 2060, one working-age person will have to support one elderly person. This is as opposed to 7.6 workers for every elderly person in 2016.

    Even robots won't save them from a lot of trauma. And, of course, with Hong Kong they are showing that they just can't resist killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    I do not believe they will either democratize or collapse as long as they can keep importing food. I do believe they will be way too busy to be playing world power games.

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  8. interesting to see what the ideal foreign policy would be… I am leaning increasingly to minimal commodity trade only/ tourism with high-risk states; trying to completely dis-entangle from all influence and sanctions and political maneuvering. Abusing their neighbors or citizens? – who cares. CO2 production as one of their main industries? – meh, we have our own low-CO2 industries- do what you want. Want our computers, cars, and luxury items? – great, we'll give you easy credit. Easy peasy – just the facts, ma'am. Just the 'business only' facts.

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  9. I'm sorry Jean, that's a very naive perception of the world. We – the west – have become richer but less free at the same time.

    Just think of how the tech companies suppressed the news of Hunter Bidens laptop for bogus reasons in order to "shore up" the election so that the 2016 result would not be repeated. Or how cancel culture ensures that few people will be willing to say the "wrong" things lest they be fired in ten years time.

    So the direction goes towards more manipulation and oppression in the west at the same time as the economy has grown.

    Furthermore, there is no plausible "mechanism" why more money would suddenly mean that people would be freer.

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  10. You get one upvote for the poetic language, whos meaning or relevance I cannot understand.

    But you still have not answered the question if you think that AI and more computer power in general will make control of the chinese population easier or more difficult.

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  11. Last time I checked this, precisely this technology was uneconomical today. And if this is true, how do you expect it to be deployed when energy is 2-3 times cheaper? Provided Tony Seba is right, of course….

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  12. The reason America spends so much on healthcare and gets so little in return is because they mistakenly think it operates best on a 'for profit' business model. That's garbage. America is a freak in OECD countries in that they privatised medicine and these profit-motive hospitals charge what they want. See this graphic at the WIKI! https://tinyurl.com/y66wyura
    Then there's this quote:
    "For example, the average cost in the U.S. for an MRI scan was $1,119, compared to $811 in New Zealand, $215 in Australia and $181 in Spain. However, data showed that 95th percentile in the price of this procedure in the U.S. was $3,031, meaning some people are paying nearly $3,000 more for a standard MRI scan in the U.S. than the average person in Australia and Spain. " 
    https://tinyurl.com/s89xk94
    VOX explaining what went wrong.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNla9nyRMmQ
    Stephen Fry explains:
    https://youtu.be/LSL3z55cT_c
    Second Thought explains:
    https://youtu.be/wO1IoKN0AkY

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  13. There are different types of geothermal.
    The ones that are currently operating commercially (in Iceland, New Zealand etc) rely on the presence of hot steam available naturally, which does indeed mean you are restricted to a very small number of locations. Hence not scalable.
    But the technology being developed, and apparently getting a big boost from the very similar tech being developed for fracking, is "Hot, dry rock" where you find some hot rock (OK, 10s of billions of tonnes of hot rock), frack it up, inject water (or supercritical CO2 or something) and make your own hot steam to exploit.
    This is also restricted to suitable locations, but it turns out that suitable locations are both pretty common, and include some really good spots near major population centres in industrialized countries.

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  14. Today's growth is not a prediction of tomorrow's growth. I still expect a Chinese "Great Depression" with a long recovery time. And the fact that it is over due doesn't mean it won't happen. In fact, the longer it takes the worse it will be.

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  15. I am sorry to disagree but China won the last trade war with the US. The balance of trade increase in their favor.

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  16. not convinced that history, in the sense of statistics and majorty-rules-precedent, are a reasonable predictor of future trends or likely ratios of cultural norms – more cyclical and a function of wealth and tech-savvy and connectedness of the group of people being contained into a society.

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  17. agreed. power just isn't power anymore. Overwhelming use of one's language, currency, entertainment, online-media, and just unending infiltration of KFCs (saw one in a tiny fishing village on Hokkaido, for gods sake) and other commercial/ retail infestations are truly the only significant cultural (but self-accepted) imperialism – comfort food and unclear english as the international food/ language of choice – ho-hum.

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  18. You are captivated the simplified paradigm of more technology, less democracy. 1984, right?
    The will of the people is like water, it finds its way to shape trends, this power multiply when people awareness for the need of change grows, although it is not a direct linear connection. Would you believe in the 80's that Eastern Europe and South America and parts of Africa will democratize?
    There was a reversal trend lately but it brought rebalancing.
    At due time this multi millennial trend will continue.

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  19. Suppose you were in charge of the thoughts. What if you were smart enuf to realize Janov is true science, inevitable? What if AI tags neurosis, and agrees with Janov, and learns to be an adequate therapist? True scientific facts are powerful.

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  20. They can have willing participants, to the extent neurotics are willing, but, as I said, there will be a difficult time enforcing slavery in space. Easier to let them leave. Many will.

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  21. Thanx! He is clueless. Apparently unaware that O'Neill would use ISMRU for sats. Mankins guy. Represents typical outlook of the people who *know about* O'Neill but only see the popular Free Settlement side, the positive future for the masses message. But nothing about now. The Physics of O'Neill's question are much more broad in application. Should we have a base on the lunar surface, or in lunar orbit? What are we trying to do? Where can we best do those things? Are we practicing for Mars? To do what on Mars, then????

    Anyway, Isaac Arthur has covered O'Neill forever, but recently is pushing O'Neill as the *likely* future, so will be extensively promoting. Bezos is leaving full time Amazon to follow his life's work, O'Neill, July 5, and will undoubtedly have some comment after going to Space July 20.

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  22. Geo is like nuke, good for heat but not grid. Boiling water with free heat is too expensive compared to solar, already.

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  23. An environmentalist on the radio said that the only thing that would get a politician to do the right thing, other than a deal that benefited him, was fear of humiliation. Power addicts have a long history of quickly going away if they are seen as mentally ill. It will be interesting to watch this scientific revolution, now 50 years old. The biggest and most important for humans in our history.

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  24. Once understood, the System must be destroyed. -Janov
    Do you know it is a criminal offense to not report child abuse, even if only suspected?
    Look at MeToo rules for victims and perps, apply to babies and adults.
    Now, Bridenstein did find a way to get me to stop going on about returning to the Moon *instead* of Mars First/Direct/Only. He is doing as I said to for over forty years!

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  25. Please note that the very same quote you used has references for the part regarding the long term destructive effects of the Kessler Syndrome in LEO, but there is no reference sustaining the claim that it poses minimal risks to MEO and beyond. Please provide a reference. One the most recent papers on the subject was " Kessler Syndrome: System Dynamics Model" published on Space Policy 2018 and was not that optimistic.
    The general idea is that you can continue operations at MEO and beyond if the debris cloud is not thick enough to have a high probability of hitting the rocket while it is passing through it. Many estimates about the Kessler Syndrome have been performed prior 2018. in the 2009-2018 timeframe we had 2298 satellites launched (not all LEO) . In the last two years spaceX alone had launched approx 1400 satellites and the projected number of satellite in orbit by the end of the decade is more than 12.000, and a kessler syndrome with many more satellites becomes a very serious issue

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  26. So is US government is going to nationalize spaceX? Or is it going to inspect and veto the launch of payloads that SpaceX might launch from facilities outside the US? The general idea is that SpaceX has plans for a global business model and if they want to expand their business outside the US, they might need to sign agreements with other nations

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  27. I saw a proposal that it would be possible to launch a swarm of satellite killers via the moon into a retrograde geosynchronous orbit – without a gravity boost from the moon it would take too much power to get there. Once a few dozen collisions at 6 km/s had started the process, that whole band should self-disassemble. GEO is probably not as vital as it was, now, with Spacex at al filling up the lower orbits.

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  28. Dan, is there a treatment for those that need to detox from Primal Theory? For those that obsess about Primal Theory and spam about it incessantly?

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  29. That has been the foolish theory of so many USA administrations. Let me ask you this: do you think that AI overall will give the CCCP a better or worse "grip" of the chinese population? What about "social points", will it increase or decrease the states control of the chinese citizens?

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  30. Right you are.

    The whole idea that space gives you more exemption from control is ludicrous. Just how difficult is control when all you have to build in some kill switch in the survival system of the habitats? Or when you control the replenishing of some key nutrients/material?

    If anything, we have learned that new technology averages out to more control of people. Internet, for instance, was thought to enable free flow of information, but has now has evolved to where Facebook, twitter, google and youtube controls what people read and listen to. And in China, the control is even better.

    And believe me, the chinese state will not have less control of the internet that future chinese space habitats will have than what they have of the terristial chinese right now….

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  31. But geothermal seems to be a dead end, does it not? Uneconomical and not scalable, right? Not scalable since the right geothermal conditions are rare and it can thus not be used everywhere in the world.

    It would seem – at least if you believe Tony Seba – that solar+battery+wind will have precisely that disruptive effect that you predict for geothermal.

    Even if geothermal were a competitive technology, it would be in its infancy. Meaning, by the time the technical kinks have been ironed out, Wrights law would have made solar and wind so cheap that geothermal would not be able to compete. And all new geothermal power stations would be run at a loss, which would prevent them reaching a large enough number to start experiencing the positive effects of Wright law, right?

    The only way this would not be the case would be if the greenies would suddenly change their mind about wind and solar. Which is actually not that far fetched.. As soon as solar, batteries and wind are close to solving the problem, the greenies will start being against them. There must be a fight against something…

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  32. "there are actually people who believe the majority of U.S. citizens have ever wanted control over Iran, or to contain their citizens"

    But the cowards did not protest when Trump murdered Gen. Soulemani.
    Hence, nobody should now cry for what the bin Laden did in 9/11

    Just sayin, my dear ameritard

    ..

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  33. "Collapse" does not mean literal collapse like USSR.

    Good point. We have a number of examples of collapses in national power.

    USSR 1991
    UK 1945-1980ish
    Spain 1620-1900
    Portugal 1755? 1807? I don't know enough to say
    Rome crisis 420ish -476
    Bronze age Mediterranean 1100 BC ish

    Of these, the USSR is one of the better examples.

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  34. I too am intrigued by the possibilities of geothermal power. It would basically shut down the coal industry (already in decline), badly damage the gas industry (currently in ascendance), and also be a huge threat to fission (and fusion LOL) wind and much solar.

    Rare Earth elements are not rare. That's just not so. They are difficult to extract without lots of pollution, which is why western countries don't mine them any more, but the name "rare" is a relic of earlier times.

    https://www.intheblack.com/articles/2019/08/01/extracting-truth-about-rare-earths

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  35. I'm intrigued. How do you see such an alignment occuring?
    It happened in the 1970s, where both saw the USSR as a more direct threat than each other. But unless a resurgent Russia starts throwing its weight around again…

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  36. I'd say SpaceX is relevant.

    • As an example of how the USA (can, sometimes) allow an outsider to wreak creative destruction on existing major industries in the process of radical innovation. This is exactly the sort of thing that many governments have serious trouble allowing to happen. (Not just China. Much of the "western world" has similar legal and governmental bias in favour of the status quo.)
    • As an example of a new, innovative tech that directly gives the USA a military advantage. Or at least will in a handful of years.

    What it would not be is sufficient. SpaceX itself is not enough to turn the tables, just as the North Sea Oil was not enough to make the UK an oil rich state. It helped, but it wasn't enough.

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  37. There are millions of Chinese citizens overseas at any point in time.
    In 2019 there were 600 000 Chinese students in western countries alone.
    China did not "lose control" of them. While some elected to stay overseas the vast majority were happy to return to China.
    A university campus in Ottawa or somewhere is under less CCP control than a Chinese space station.

    Yes, a bunch of Uighurs would be likely to reject the CCP line, but that's not who gets to go to the cushy overseas universities or space stations.

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  38. So how do you envisage taking control of China sufficiently to force the entire communist party (80 million people) to undergo your psychiatric treatment?

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  39. Kessler syndrome is, according the references I see, nowhere near as dramatic as it is depicted in fiction.

    From la wik:

    The Kessler syndrome is troublesome because of the domino effect and feedback runaway wherein impacts between objects of sizable mass spall off debris from the force of the collision. The fragments can then hit other objects, producing even more space debris: if a large enough collision or explosion were to occur, such as between a space station and a defunct satellite, or as the result of hostile actions in space, then the resulting debris cascade could make prospects for long-term viability of satellites in particular low Earth orbits extremely low.[20][21] However, even a catastrophic Kessler scenario at LEO would pose minimal risk for launches continuing past LEO, or satellites travelling at medium Earth orbit (MEO) or geosynchronous orbit (GEO). The catastrophic scenarios predict an increase in the number of collisions per year, as opposed to a physically impassable barrier to space exploration that occurs in higher orbits.[citation needed]

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  40. Ok, works for me! My focus is on the end result instead of the psychological underpinnings of the human condition. I am focused on its end result in the societal landscape. You could be right; I am not qualified to say though.

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  41. Humans take *normal* chimp power instincts and pervert them into power trip pain killing activities for the addict, in this present, because of the childhood powerlessness Pain, in the past, being repressed. Thus it becomes an addiction to those repressed. They winnow each other out to become "Great Poo Bah" or what, all proud! Pathetic, hurt little children.

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  42. I am not entirely sure what that means. People who are attracted to government are attracted to power. In fact that could be called a human trait. Eventually the perpetuation and growth of that power becomes the overriding concern of their existence.

    "Power corrupts, absolute power power corrupts absolutely" is an expression for a reason. They cannot admit mistakes, because it threatens their perception in the mind of the governed that they are infallible. They cannot admit to a mistake for the same reason. They will blame and destroy others to avoid the blame or responsibility for their very human mistakes and failures. They must have the nicest, live the best, obtain the most to prop up their image and egos. Look at Kim in Korea, Saddam Hussein, Putin, Hitler or most power hungry politicians. Their success usually comes at the expense of the country, in fact more than usually. That is because the success of the country is always secondary to their control of that country, in every circumstance.

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  43. Look it up, it is public information. Here, let me help you, since you seem to make proclamations without the benefit of research.

    Here is a simple pie chart for your review. We do not spend anywhere near on our military that we used to. We have never in the history of our country spent so much, misallocated so much, of our federal budget on things that should not be there. It is limiting our growth, our military spending, exacerbating our tax levels, our ability to support our allies, our ability to expand into new frontiers because our research budget is emasculated, all to support a segment of our population that is (in unkind but true economics terms) an unproductive segment of our population and economy. We will never get a return from our expenditures in these areas for national growth or security. You may not like what I am saying, but it is the undeniable truth.

    This is why I say that we are lacking in the primary support structure of democracy. Debate, open factual and honest debate. If we had that support, if people were forced to face things like this, then we would not be missing this crucial decision making, consensus enabling, tool of democracy. If we do not get it back, we will fail as a democracy. GIGO, "Garbage In, Garbage Out", is limiting our ability to make rational and unified decisions. This is what is being deliberately sabotaged by our media.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget#/media/File:Federal_Revenue_and_Spending.png

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  44. I know, right?? It's still funny to me that there are actually people who believe the majority of U.S. citizens have ever wanted control over Iran, or to contain their citizens. xD. It is literally hilarious. It's like, "Wait, there's a DIFFERENCE between the people and the politicians, both in the U.S. and Iran?! My life is a lie!"

    There was also no way, statistically, that McCain was going to beat Obama.

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  45. what about the disruptors and agents of chaos? success, integration, and continued development within these 'success nodes' is threatened by the sulky, angry, and poorly-motivated: Russia in a focussed way, the -Stans in a chaotic way, the middle east in chaotic way, africa in a migrant-saturation way, central america in a migrant-saturation way, africa/south america in a critical-material-supply way; agents of cyber-attack chaos from many of these countries and more, unsanctioned if not fully endorsed. Can the wealthy and ambitious still support their nodes if constantly needing to police boundaries and contribute to worldwide defence/poverty support?

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  46. agreed. high tech manufacturing and high tech agriculture and desirable top 25% living standards may fluorish in satellite economies where new york and chicago density is no longer the most desirable live and work experience — caribbean rich enclaves are certainly thriving – mexican border… greece and north africa?

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  47. more interesting perhaps at the frontiers of such major cultural epicenters — what of the ukraines, belaruses, and turkeys? — at europe; koreas, thailands, and indias? — at china; mexicos, caribbeans, south americas? — at US? seems that we fall into the same'ol major foci as we did 25, 40, and 60 years ago… but then you measure the economic and supply chain differences between center and periphery — far less stark – more two-way nowadays. The satelites are becoming the new foci – similar to rich suburbs differentiating from urban cores..

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  48. agreed. rich countries mostly have it all together all and don't really compete with each other nor try to exercise power. The real question is whether countries or regions will try to diversify and thus be original, creative, and productive — as oposed to be just franchises of each other, subsumed by various branches of fast food, retail, standardized transportation and financial widely mirrored… though I do see a distinct european, north america, and china flavors for which many adjacent countries are significantly influenced and aligned… but this is not power so much as internal, daily cultural streamlining…

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  49. … currency of regular and significant use beyond own boundaries; own entertainment industry and significant locations of distribution and assembly; own major commercial and athletic sports as could be included with summer & winter olympics; language widely known and spoken somewhat in worldwide countries when together hold 10% of world population; hold at least a few of the top 100 research universities/ foundations/ think-tanks; contains branches of major financial institutions; contains examples of conserved locations of a UNESCO world heritage site-type quality; average GDP of within 50% of all G7 countries; contain a stock exchange; contain a system that can coordinate domestic land, air, and sea military forces; generate 50%+ own power, distribute it daily to 90%+, and maintain it internally; employment participation,… etc, etc.

    The point is that there are likely almost a dozen of such mini-empires, and possibly way more… Axes of world power and influence are a myth and disingenuity — countries 'need each other less' but 'modernize and grow' with each other more than people realize…
    That being said, issues of contention and conflict to keep many back include: intellectual property, potable water, pandemic resiliency, tech supply chain sovereignty, and brain-drain/ immigrant-saturation issues — all else is cultural peacocking.

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  50. meh. Idle statistics and navel-gazing as best befits the bourgeoisie Victorian Gentlemens Clubs of London, Hong Kong, and Boston — impotent armchair antics of those who boast knowledge and experience of the tides of wars, economics, business, and the politics of the pseudo Empires and their Chattels. But what is the worth and value of a system, a culture, and its people? How do we compare their past successes and future potential? What numbers matter and which ideas channel to timeless legend as in Rome or Athens or Alexandria? Whether it is a large definable region, a country, or a loose assemblage of political entities striving together, one needs to ask, as in the analogy of a machine: How does this system manufacture greatness and individual choice? – often these are in conflict and thus having them co-exist is rare and precious — and often incredibly durable, creative, and productive. Modern questions in which to ferret an answer: Availability of social/ cultural mobility (bottom 25% to top 25% in a generation); Number of STEM PhDs; Number of STEM international-quality patents; percentage of population with daily access to reliable car, cel phone/ data, high-speed transit, full banking service, international flights, and international-quality medical facilities; ability to own property; leave the country on 24 hours notice; a political entity that has a space program, nuclear/fusion, large-scale solar; significant industries in almost all sectors – land to consumer;

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  51. SpaceX gives the US space dominance for the next forty years
    -> HAHAHAHA!!

    This forecast will go down in the history books along with Brian forecasts that John Mc Cain would have win with Obama, that Venezuela would be overtaken and that Iran would have been contained by the USA

    Just sayin`

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  52. Excel calcuations do not geopolitcs make. "Collapse" does not mean literal collapse like USSR. It can mean rising preoccupation with domestic issues and lack of stability, thus making it less doable to expand elsewhere. The game is rigged agains't China. Demography, geography, size, massive malinvestment and mismanagement, lack of natural resources, inability to feed itself-the list is growing and growing. US in comparison has only one problem-crazy ideology. Europe has 3 problems: crazy ideology, demography and conflicting interests. People expected too much from China, and they still expect too much. World will not repeat the hegemony of the US. In comparison to US, which has very good fundamentals, China has every fundmanetal horrible. Just horrible. The only way how this can be hidden is due to cannibalization of massive rural population and rising quality (GDP per capita) of economy in key areas. But those areas have nothing to do with each other. There will be no China great power and hegemony. They are (almost) done. It does not mean that on paper they will be weak. They won't be able to project outward. West is also done, so it won't be able to capitalize on those weaknesses. And thats the issue and thats what we osberve.

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  53. lol
    Trump accelerated China's rise to the top
    Litearally all comrade Trump did was a big favour and accelerator for China

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  54. Societies rise and societies fall…

    Nothing is forever…

    Anything can happen – India, Malaysia, Indonesia may band together to outproduce Europe, US, and China. Who knows?

    India is working feverishly to develop Thorium reactors *they have huge Thorium reserves*. What if they are successful? If they can couple that with their mastery of Math/Computer Science (if you work in software, you know what I am talking about), they may be the next superpower.

    Crispr technology is becoming widespread. What's to stop some madman from building his own gain-of-function lab, and releasing a virus targeting people of a certain DNA profile? Weaponized pandemic, anyone? Of course it was just an 'accident', no harm intended.

    Geothermal startups are starting to reach critical mass. Some claim they can take existing shale/fracking/directional drilling down to 6 miles and harvest unlimited energy (in the form of electricity generated by steam turbines). They say they could do it from anywhere in the world, while producing zero emissions. Baseload power with no batteries required. How would that change geopolitical alliances?

    Rare Earth Elements are just that – rare. Which countries have the most of each? Could wars break out to secure control of materials needed for computer and battery technology?

    It's fun to speculate.

    Thanks, Brian. Your posts are fun.

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  55. "ANY NATION WILLING TO PAY can flood space with satellites, military satellites "
    Probably not – SpaceX operates under US authority, and that isn't likely to change.

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  56. The US has a global military advantage, but China may now have a naval advantage near its coast.

    China could probably play the economic embargo game on Taiwan – they just need to come up with a pretext that can't be easily proven false. "Taiwan is financing terrorists in mainland China!", maybe after a few false flag attacks.

    But after condemning the false pretext the US navy would likely start escorting cargo/tanker convoys through, flagged from a wide range of nations – essentially daring China to attack. China would say it allows them to pass for 'humanitarian purposes', while issuing stern warnings to the US not to abuse their 'kindness'.

    But it could backfire on China, with the US establishing a "temporary" naval base on Taiwan to 'support convoy operations'. Then any mass assault on Taiwan would risk US intervention. Note that we've managed to keep our "trip wire" troops in South Korea for nearly 70 years.

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  57. People have been calling the imminent bubble collapse for a decade now (making credible arguments for why it must collapse soon) yet the government keeps the Ponzi scheme going at all costs. It may not go on forever but rotten systems are like poorly constructed buildings. They may look to experts like they are ready to fall at any second yet stay surprisingly stable for years. Or, like European communism, they may look perfectly stable, only to collapse at a pace that takes everyone by surprise.

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  58. And before anyone says it, yes Trump is not friendly to China. But Trumps he not friendly to the EU or Asia either. His only friend is Putin.

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  59. Interesting happenings ahead.

    I have the theory that actually rich societies need to be freer at sometime, or they can't get richer, hitting a ceiling due to the need of an oppressive system to curtail their citizens wealth and rights, to defend its own existence, and also due to the natural demand of affluent citizens for more liberties.

    China has been an interesting conundrum, because they have mostly kept a tight control over politics and over their citizens, while also fostering economic development pretty successfully.

    But the more they succeed in spreading that wealth and taking the average income per capita up, the more problems of control they will face, which they will have to resolve either with more freedoms, or actual bloody repression, taking the population back to controllable levels.

    Unless they invent a fully (inhuman) novel system of control, where people will have eyes over them all the time, ensuring they stay in their expected roles and demand no more than what the ruling party considers as enough. A prison of the minds and hearts, not just for the bodies.

    This is not impossible nowadays, because well, we have seen the birth of such inhuman horrors that would make Orwell's Big Brother blush, in the form of our incipient caretaker AI clouds.

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  60. Reusable starship will be a cheap hypersonic bomber

    There are long existing solutions more fit for such purposes. I find this suggestion almost as preposterous than the million people on Mars by 2050 dream.

    The US military seemed to be pushing China as the concern to justify military buildup

    It's not the military exactly. Over the last 50 years, the purpose of the govt changed to largely existing to funnel money to the private sector, it's commonly known as pork for those beneficiaries that dont support the observer's world view. Without China or some some other bogeyman scaring the masses, the trillion dollar military spending would start to reveal some pathology is actually at work. Everyone has their own interests, nuclear weapons will ensure meddling in China remains in the domain of people running their mouths. Nuclear weapons, every country should acquire them. It's the only way America will free itself of the delusions of the irrational and the inept.

    Same sort of drivers are behind the "covid is from a China lab" story. The clued-in politicos need China as a hate figure, to serve as a focus for public sentiments that might otherwise have been directed at them and their malfeasance…mob management 101. Even the clueless masses needs China. Their intense focus on the big bad might even cause them to stop noticing the blood on their own hand, the capacity for self-delusion is boundless.

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  61. I totally disagree.
    "fully reusable Super Heavy Starship means that ANY NATION WILLING TO PAY can flood space with satellites, military satellites "
    1) Regarding the kinetic weapons I think it will be extremely difficult to weaponize space as all the launches are easily monitored by every other nation and it is easy to see if your weather satellite has a mass of 50 tons.
    Furthermore if competing nations realize that you are weaponizing space, they might want to level the game triggering a kessler syndrome. 1a-Relying on intercepting the ICBM might be tricky especially because an enemy can force you to waste a lot of your rods from the sky on decoys. 1b-as the space around earth gets more and more crowded you do not even need nukes to trigger a kessler syndrome, pushing few satellites on collision course with lasers might do the trick.
    2) in a world connected by trades the fastest way to deliver a nuke is a shipping container sent a month in advance and waiting on truck. Corrupting customs officer is way cheaper than developing hypesonic weapons, especially if you plan the long game and corrupt them so that they can turn their heads thinking that they make few bucks letting in something relatively harmless like archeological artifacts or brands imitations (instead of drugs/immigrants/weapons).

    Economic competition and proxy wars will be around for sure, but I am definitely not convinced about one-sided space dominance: you end up too exposed.

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  62. The numbers are curious, for sure. Sensitive topic, I see lol. I can see China and the U.S. aligning their interests within the next 40 years before I see any kind of physical warfare between the two.

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  63. China has often had an inward focus. A large country with a huge population and a government that is focused on that internal stability. The linear extrapolations sound simplistic.

    • Growth tends to slow. The UK is not many times the EU, the US is not many times the EU, Japan did not eclipse the US. The world economic pie is growing, but that growth may slow compared to the rate of global growth over the next decade or two.
    • Will per capital income rise to match fully industrialized/service economies? Much of Asia such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore have. China's population is massive thought, it does and is running out of cheap labor for export driven growth. It will move up the value chain but there is plenty of competition there and it's much less labor based.
    • High Innovation and authoritarian government do not mix well.
    • Networks are important as discussed. The US has these networks, China no
    • SpaceX is interesting but in itself not a relevant factor
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  64. I think that nukes are more controllable than bioweapons, and in a m.a.d. scenario bioweapons tend to be slow, the only exception is if you manage to infect everyone ahead of time and you can trigger the acute phase very quickly. But that, luckily, is not easily achievable.

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  65. Detonate a nuke shredding enough satellites and nobody will leave the planet for thousands of years with or without superheavy rockets

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  66. But China will have an at least two times bigger economy than the US, not 36% bigger. They are also very focused on developing critical technologies, although it is more of a government initiative. We are spending about twice on health care as other nations, and this is a significant impediment. Of course we have a free market which keep us growing fast relative to the stage of our economy development. There are multiple factors at play.

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  67. Who will control Space is the real question. We have commercial flexibility that China has no clue about. China cannot deal with O'Neill at all. We need to now!

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  68. China can simply sign and comply with the Artemis Accords. Let the gold rush begin for all. Or, they can try to imprison people in free settlements?

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  69. "foolish pride of terrified old men." Who are in actuality terrified children, frozen in that old experience, inappropriate for the current situation, curable.

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  70. There is no *goal* in Primal Therapy as to outcome. It merely removes birth and childhood repression systematically and safely, the hard part. What happens is what is observed. Science! The strong *proof* of Primal is the epigenetic changes, as they are obvious and non fake-able. But they are not a *part* of the theory, just what happens.

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  71. Reusable starship will be a cheap hypersonic bomber and a platform for space domination for decades. I do not think there will be major power war. However, the one future war that people keep guessing about is between China and the USA. The various geopolitical people always want to predict how world power changes. What will happen with the US and China is the question that is always asked. I don't think fighting war happens and it would be stupid if it did. But China did suppress dissent in Hong Kong. The US has had wars all over the middle east and there was the Hainan Island incident before 2001. The US military seemed to be pushing China as the concern to justify military buildup. The US and China have significant misaligned interests. The better thing would be to get more aligned. This is possible. The US and China could be the ones to make a World version of the EU. Like France and Germany making the EU.

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  72. Do you mean to say that Primal Therapy is some sort of brainwashing scheme to turn people Libertarians? That is very concerning… ☺

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  73. Is there something concrete beneath nebulous terms like "global leadership role", "power and influence" & "contain China", or is it just the age old industry of propping up the foolish pride of terrified old men.

    I dont understand how "With SpaceX success" relates to "China lags in key technology that will prevent military aggression"?

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  74. China is not far behind, they may start from scratch(their version of Starship) but with their speed, human resources, scale and size of coordination in large projects, fact that their industrial output is 2x larger than US, almost as big as West's( next year will be bigger), all that means(in my opinion) they are not 20-40 years behind. They are growing exponentially in capabilities and this process is accelerating each year. We may bet that China will have large reusable spaceship with capabilities similar to Starship in around 2-3 years 🙂 I won't be even surprised if we will see it next year

    Check out attached video. Currently they are learning doing projects on such scale, coordination and complexity with relatively basic stuff(first-second industrial revolution stuff), but soon I can see they will apply this type of scale/speed/coordination in complex technogical projects
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuYCWwG_mIg

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  75. A commenter suggested that this article was sucking up to China. They saw the topic was China but did not understand that this article says the US combined with the rest of Asia will be able to contain China for decades and that India and the rest of Asia also develop and developing but a little bit slower than the pace of China. All of Asia gets up to developed status and china population shrinks. End point around 2060. China is one third to one fourth of the overall economy of Asia and drops to 10% of the world. China never gets unchecked domination. China can be restricted throughout the 21st century. With SpaceX success, China lags in key technology that will prevent military aggression.

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  76. If one side has fully reusable super heavy lift rockets and can 1 million tons of stuff into space while the other side is stuck at maybe 1000 tons, are ICBMs the final answer?

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  77. The US has the military advantage for the next 20-40 years. China is building more gear but they admit it is getting closer but still inferior to US gear. This is in spite of the massive corruption in US military gear procurement. As noted SpaceX is providing the US the advantage in space. The fully reusable Super Heavy Starship means the US can flood space with satellites, military satellites and if necessary the US can load up space with kinetic weapons. Just metal rods and balls to drop where ever they want to make ICBM launch useless. You can easily destroy anything launched upward. The competition will not be all out military war. It will mainly be regular economic competition and trade wars to force compliance with the "rules" for economic competition. The Ukraine -Russia level war seems to be about the maximum level below which there is no escalation. The US and its allies do not have to permit China to forcibly take Taiwan. However, the Taiwan question and situation will be the longer term test of US world leadership.

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  78. Space Solar, esp Criswell LSP, will solve climate weirding and make whoever owns it the only power, in Space.

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  79. People who successfully Primal away their repressions become libertarian. All mentally healthy people are libertarian. Are the Chinese power addicts? Are the American power addicts? Do any of them realize they are humiliating themselves in front of eternal Primal history? Yet.

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  80. The Primal Revolution is upon us. It only happens once. It has never happened before. It is 50 years old, the standard wait for important revolutionary science. Lennon Walls are here to stay.

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  81. That's not the lesson of history. In fact, free societies are very rare in history.

    And, at present, all the signs indicate we're more likely to become a totalitarian state, than they are democratic.

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  82. I think the key point here is that China will have a 36% larger economy with a 335% larger population. A much larger portion of their economy is taken up just keeping people alive. Countries can only compete with the surplus left over after survival.

    Now, granted, as a totalitarian state, China can skate much closer to the edge of bare survival, and even over that edge at times. (Working people to death in labor camps.) But it still remains that the appropriate measure is surplus GDP, not total GDP.

    Harder to calculate, but much more relevant.

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  83. "The EU would have a PPP GDP of about $20 trillion"

    EU already is at 21T, this year, it will be much larger in 2026.
    Population trends aren't that important, AI and automation will increase GDP size of every country enormously, including EU.

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  84. "The US
    spends too much on population maintenance like Social Security, Medicare
    and Medicaid. 60%+ of our federal budget and rising."

    Are you serious? You mean war/army

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  85. China will be at least 4-5x the US
    2x by 2050 is wishful thinking.
    Not only they have 5x workforce but on average they will soon have more scientists/engineers per capita which mean they will be orders of magnitude more technologically advanced. So far China has 3x less density of scientists per capita, that's one of the main reasons for the gap in economy size. But they are educating 12x more of them than USA anually, so they will catch up soon (much faster than 30 years).
    US will be far 2nd for some time, as long as countries will exist, because in time, as we will mature as civilization, we will abandon this primitive concept and become one system with some sort of global central goverment(probably govern by advanced AI) with a lot of decentralization on local levels.
    Because technology is accelerating everything and this process itself is accelerating, it all can happen in the next 7-15 years

    Instead of countries we will be probably cooperating on cities level or organize large projects in the internet(location of people interested in being part of it will be irrelevant)

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  86. Once you reach ICBM tech and have a sufficient number of missiles no military comparison is relevant because you can go M.A.D. so nobody will ever attack you. Proxy wars sure, but no direct military confrontation.

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  87. I don't see this being suggested. Which country do you think is ahead? Because I actually don't know the answer.

    In WW2, Germany had far better tech than US but US had more production capability. US won.

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  88. Mostly agree on China and add that China gets more out of its people in terms of productivity, at least as they become middle class. They don't like celebrities, so that discourages the idle rich to some degree. Climate Change means Russia is poised to make a strong comeback too to world's #3 super-power: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SY9NjD_5WWo&t=977s

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  89. Fair assessment. I just think that China will eventually democratize. The people showed in the past that this is what they want. As of now it is being effectively suppressed, but at one point people will get what they want. It will change the course of History somewhat toward that of cooperation.

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  90. IMO the problem with both countries are the governments.

    China has an authoritarian government that is getting too power concentrated. This will serve to limit their decision making flexibility in the future. This will be caused by the same it always is in dictatorships/authoritarian governments, holding power and fear of losing it. They also have a self inflicted demographic problem that is going to cause them major headaches. China is also not the only rising power, so whoever creates the strongest network of allies will help tip the balance one way or another. Belt and Road may help, or it may saddle Beijing with a large number and volume of bad politically motivated loans.

    The US spends too much on population maintenance like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. 60%+ of our federal budget and rising. No way can we compete with a rising power with that fiscal albatross hanging over our heads. We also have a nasty political partisanship problem. The cure to that, and the foundation bedrock that usually makes democracies so hard to beat, is open debate. Yet we are now stuck in media bubbles with no way to employ this potent consensus weapon. Foreign competition may force our political system to shape up, or not. Time will tell, but I do not have high hopes without getting a handle on our out of control media.

    Whoever solve their problems, gets their house in order, will likely "win" this race. In the short term my money is on China. Of course, everything changes…

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  91. No. This story is trying to suggest that China and the US are on a level playing field militarily. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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  92. If our( the US) foreign policy made any sense, we would be pushing hard for closer ties with India and Indonesia. Their outcomes will set the course for democracy and Islam v. the west in the 21st century.

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